Sunday, September 21, 2014

Big plays, penalties end Bills' undefeated streak at two


Prior to the team's Week 3 matchup against the Chargers, the Buffalo Bills secondary had given up only two pass plays of 20 yards or more.

The group gave up twice that in just the first half Sunday, as Philip Rivers and the San Diego offense put up more than 250 yards through the air and evaded almost every attempt the Bills' defense threw at them en route to a 22-10 victory.

Rivers threw for two touchdowns -- both short passes to receiver Eddie Royal -- and committed zero turnovers, tallying a 131 passing rating in the win and keeping Buffalo's aggressive defense in check for nearly the entire game.

He eluded a bunch of sacks despite being rushed out the pocket a number of times, completing 72 percent of his passes in the process. Eleven Buffalo penalties for more than 100 yards certainly didn't hurt, either.

"He was calm, you can see he’s a seasoned vet," rookie linebacker Preston Brown said after the game. "He would come up to the line, take his time at the line of scrimmage, read the defense, and try to make things work. That was a big difference when you have an older quarterback back there trying to manage your offense."

On the other side of the ball, quarterback E.J. Manuel was better than average given the constant uphill battle he faced, completing 23 of 39 total passes for 238 yards and a touchdown. He avoided any turnovers and checked down to his running backs when necessary, which led to Bills' running backs amassing 137 yards of offense through the air and a Fred Jackson touchdown, the only Buffalo touchdown of the game.

"We didn’t come out and make plays," Jackson said. "We’ve got to watch film and see what we didn’t do right. That’s just it. It’s one of those things. Like I said, we’ve got to continue to work. We’ve got to be able to make plays. 

"We have to be able to make plays throughout the season. That was a good team we lost to. You’ve got to tip your hat to them. We’ll watch the film and move on."

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